Quote Monday

This weekend was strange, emotionally. Our upstairs shower has had a leak that finally made itself known by pouring through to the garage below. Something about this struck a chord in me, and I lost all momentum for a few days.

It was compounded by an emotional downward spiral I found myself in. And I’m not exactly sure why. I’m journaling to try to discover the root of the melancholy.

So when I saw today’s quote, it rang so true that I thought, if I needed to hear it, maybe others did too.

32 Utterly Fantastic Inspirational Quotes -

Some things are out of our control, especially this year, and while things may not be going according to plan, we can trust that, eventually all will be set to right. ((crosses fingers))

Writing Prompt #117

I like the muted tones of this image. It has an old world quality about it, and I was immediately struck to share it.

The writing prompts have been a wonderful exercise in experimenting with different writing styles and ideas. When I choose to actually follow through. I generally free write, or what I like to call writing “flash fiction”. It’s basically the same thing, I just wanted a more interesting name. And they get me out of my head for a little while, again, when I follow through with the challenge. I’ve written poetry, played with idea of sounds, found pieces that inspire my screenwriting, and the prompts started me down the long, winding path of writing fan fiction. I’m hovering around 135K words right now.

So join me in this week’s Writing Prompt Challenge. Create something and then share it! Free write. Write without any expectations. Create something new or let it help you to rewrite a piece you’ve been struggling with. Whatever you choose, I’d be delighted to see it and share it here too (with your permission, of course)!

Happy Writing!

Quote of the Week

Be proud of your journey!  #skinnyms #transformation #enewsletter

After reading my post about reflecting on the Austin Film Festival a year later, some of my friends said I was being too hard on myself.

It’s easy to be hard on ourselves. We’re usually our own harshest critic. I’ve long had an on-again off-again relationship with my feelings of self worth. Bad decisions are a part of life, no matter their size, and I often wonder if a certain decision here or there altered my path because I have a bad habit of comparing my current situation to where, ideally, I think I should be by now.

As positive as I try to be, I stumble occasionally. It’s hard not to see the goal in sight and maintain the momentum and positivity, but the creative path is a challenging one – one I embraced long ago, as many of you have as well – and so while we may suffer in our pursuit, we know why we do.

When I shared with a friend that I was reworking an entire act of one of my screenplays, he was in awe of my ability to do something like that. I was surprised by the reaction because I didn’t think it was awe inspiring. I am a writer. It’s what I do. It’s how I identify no matter what else I may be doing. And in that moment, I found a twinkle of pride.

I am a writer.

I may struggle with my writing from time to time but it is my calling, and I have to get out of the mindset that it doesn’t have value until others think it does, and that any small step towards accomplishing my goal is not worth being proud of.

So let’s take a moment to celebrate our hard work. No matter where we are on our journey, we’ve come a long way from where we started, and we should be proud of that.

A writer’s group I’m a part of does weekly check-ins of progress, and I’d like to try that here. I’d be delighted if you’d share a proud moment in your writing. Was there something you accomplished this week that you’d like to share? Let’s support one another!

Happy Writing!

The 2020 “One Movie a Week” Challenge Part I

I’m a little behind this year. By nearly 3 months = 12 movies. Eek! We’ve been watching more television and a lot of home renovation/home buying shows because we’re ready to settle down and call a place home.

Sometimes I’ve thrown on something mindless…because it’s 2020. Don’t judge me. We didn’t start out avoiding drama and the like, but too much seriousness left us feeling emotional in an already emotionally strung out existence, so we tried to find more casual, fun type fare on occasion, but that means we’ve watched a lot of subpar movies.

I’m going to use a simple ABC rating system and not review them individually this time. The letter grade should offer enough insight as to my feelings.

  1. Alita: Battle AngelA
  2. MoanaA
  3. To All the Boys I’ve Loved BeforeB
  4. Kissing BoothD
  5. Falling Inn LoveC
  6. Toy Story 4B
  7. Inside OutA
  8. Frozen IIC
  9. Into the SpiderverseA
  10. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before 2C
  11. Hobbs and ShawC
  12. AnnaB
  13. ProspectB
  14. Mission: Impossible – FalloutC
  15. Tron: LegacyC
  16. Bird BoxD
  17. Midnight SpecialB
  18. The PlatformC
  19. AniaraD
  20. The Old GuardB
  21. BumblebeeC
  22. The Big SickC
  23. The Half of ItB
  24. Knives OutB
  25. Jojo RabbitA
  26. VenomC
  27. Enola HolmesB
  28. UsC
  29. Men in Black: InternationalC
  30. The Amazing SpidermanC
  31. LovebirdsB
  32. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five ArmiesC
  33. Hocus PocusC (This one is sort of a cheat as I have seen it before but not since its release. I barely remembered any of it, and it does not hold up.)

As it’s now the end of October, and the last few months have felt like an eternity, some of these viewings are a little blurry at this point but I’m fairly secure in these ratings.

I would love some suggestions for the remainder of the year. What movies have you enjoyed?

Reflecting on AFF One Year Later

Austin Film Festival - FilmFreeway

Last year at this time I was preparing to head off to the Austin Film Festival Screenwriter’s Conference. My first (and only) time at any such event. I had finally chosen to invest in myself, and I was so excited at the prospect.

I had no real idea of what to expect.

It was more than I imagined. A year later and I’m still beyond delighted I chose to go. I was surrounded by like-minded individuals. I was listening to professionals offer sage advice and found the common thread that united us all. We were creatives. I was invigorated and inspired, and made the decision to quit my exhausting-body wrecking-causing-me-to-drink job on the second night. I did my best to get out of my comfort zone and walk up to strangers to start conversations knowing the purpose of my attendance was to meet other writers. And I did.

And one year later, many of them are doing amazing things.

And I…am envious.

I had big plans after the conference. I did indeed quit my job. Upon my return home, I gave notice and it was like a weight was immediately lifted. The Sis and I began talking about a move because Las Vegas was only meant to be temporary and it had been 5 years. I started to formulate a plan for, not only my writing goals, but also my life goals. Things were looking up.

We visited Washington state in March as a research trip for the move just as the first cases of the virus made their appearance. And it went downhill from there.

I was suddenly frozen. The uncertainty of it all…I was at a loss of how to proceed. In those early months, thinking about writing, of being creative was nearly impossible. I couldn’t even bring myself to write a blog post to commiserate.

I was in awe of those people who were going about their “business as usual”. That mentality escaped me, for a long time. I could barely find comfort or escape in a film, and have found myself way behind in my “One Movie a Week Challenge”. I never expected to be so affected by anxiety. Thankfully, in all this, I discovered yoga.

Then there’s the political stage.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to see the news and feel a sense of relief instead of all this?!

So here I am. A year after one of the most inspiring, motivating weekends in my life, and am no better for it. One friend is waiting to hear back on a directing fellowship for her short. One is meeting with a producer for her unique script. One is winning competitions and shooting a script. One is currently directing her project, pitching other ideas while on set, and winning awards.

I am absolutely thrilled for them all! It is inspiring to know these women as they make their way in the industry. And these are also the people I am in awe of. While I found myself almost paralyzed by indecision and the external constraints, they endured.

When it became clear that there was no immediate relief in sight, and after reading a poorly written published novel, I got off my ass and started to write. It’s been slow, but the spark is there. I realized, finally, that no matter what was happening outside, I am miserable and without purpose when I’m not pursuing my dream. I have had too many gaps in my life of not writing and focusing on irrelevant things, and I always regret those times. Time wasted.

Photo by Jordan Benton on Pexels.com

The older I get, the more I understand how precious time truly is. Should I fail to succeed in the pursuit of my dream of becoming a professional writer, I’m not sure how that will feel in the end. I don’t like the way it feels now.

So, it’s taken nearly a year to come back to the realization, but here I am. I’m grateful to those at AFF who gave me so many opportunities to meet the fearless women I now call my friends. I wish them every success, and hope to count my own among theirs soon.

My Dragon Age 4 Wish List

Dragon Age 4 “behind-the-scenes” snippet shows off concept art and  works-in-progress - VideoGamer.com

For those of you who have been with me for a while now, you know of my long love affair with the series Dragon Age. I have taken part in nearly every aspect of the fandom – the love runs deep. Very few details have been released in the last couple of years in regards to the next installment since it was teased at the 2018 Game Awards. And when any little hint does come to light, fans analyze every minute detail for clues and concoct wild theories based on the scarce evidence.

The Art Of Dragon Age 4 - Concept Art and Making Of

December tends to be DA news month but Christmas came early this year when a number of images of concept art were recently released. You can imagine the subsequent frenzy that ensued. With the release of the latest novel, Tevinter Nights, characters both new and familiar were revealed along with story details that we could weave together in the hopes of understanding where the next game would lead us.

Dragon Age 4' Gamescom reveal highlights wild new landscapes and characters

In the FB group I’m a part of, people regularly prompt the members by asking what they want to see in the next game. Besides better hairstyles, which is a major pet peeve among us (I even wrote about it a while back), there are a lot of ideas floating around. With all this in mind, I’ve decided to share my own take on what I’d like to see in the next game. Here are my top 7. I tried to stop at 5 but that was difficult, so I’ll do my best to be concise.

*This will include spoilers if you have not read the comics and books, and with the understanding that the reader has played the games.

Every Dragon Age 4 Screenshot or Piece of Concept Art Revealed So Far
  1. The return of the Hero of Ferelden. The protagonist of Origins, the tainted hero who saves the world from The Blight we learn, years later in Inquisition, is in search of a cure for what will eventually kill them. My hope is that we are given closure to this storyline and the character that brought us into the series in the first place.
  2. The trouble with the Grey Wardens and the return of griffons. In the closing credits of Inquisition we learn that something is happening within Warden ranks and Weisshaupt has gone quiet. In the novel, Last Flight, we learn the fate of the griffons during the 4th Blight and the possibility of their return. I’m a fan of the Wardens, one of their symbols is part of my tattoo (I told you, the love runs deep, skin deep 😉 ), so I’d like to revisit the order and learn what’s going on.
  3. The return of beloved characters. Dragon Age needs to follow Mass Effect’s format of reintroducing characters and bringing us closure, especially in light of the position many of our favorite companions have or may have found themselves in since we last saw them.
    • Sten is now Arishok, as revealed in the comic series, The Silent Grove, and with the Qunari threat revealed in Inquisition and the war in Tevinter, he should make an appearance as the commander of the military.
    • Zevran and the Antivan Crows. There is a chapter in Tevinter Nights that deals with the leaders of the houses of the assassin’s guild, one of them being the house of Aranai. Zevran has made an appearance, in some form, in all three games so with this history, and the disarray that the Crows may find themselves in since the enlightening chapter, he should reappear. There is concept art that shows a Crow, and he’s also an elf. ((wink wink))
    • Fenris received his own comic recently, Blue Wraith, although there wasn’t enough of him in it for my liking. The story involves the Qunari and Tevinter so he should make an appearance. And fans would be thrilled. We love Broody!
    • Merrill, I think, is a shoe-in for a reappearance. In DA2 she was working at restoring an eluvian, and after Inquisition, we’re all aware of their importance. As an elf with strong ideas of keeping elven traditions alive, she’d make a great recruit for the Dread Wolf’s army.
    • Dorian & Isabela also appear in the concept art, and given Tevinter as a most likely location for the bulk of DA4, it’s only natural to presume Dorian would be a major player. Isabela has also made an appearance in all three games, in some way, and with her history with the Qunari I think it’s time to get reacquainted with the admiral.
  4. The return of “The One” sacrificed to be left in the Fade. Depending on the world state you imported into Inquisition, you will be faced with a potentially difficult decision at the end of Here Lies the Abyss, a mission in which you choose between leaving Hawke, the much loved protagonist from DA2 or a Grey Warden, one of whom could be the adorkable Alistair, behind. If Solas succeeds in his mission to tear down the veil, it is my hope this character will be revealed escaping or strutting out of the Fade, given who it might be.
  5. The Architect and the strange experiments with the darkspawn. The Architect was an intelligent darkspawn introduced to us in the Origin’s DLC, Awakening. He was attempting to free the darkspawn from their compulsion to awaken the Old Gods hence starting another Blight and actually started the 5th. He can just disappear at the end of the DLC and then we learned in Tevinter Nights that the darkspawn are experimenting on each other creating even more terrifying abominations. There’s something weird going on there, and I’m not sure I truly want to know why. But I do.
  6. Learning the true purpose of the ancient Elven Artifacts that we turn on as we run about in Inquisition. Solas tells us that these globe-like items will help to strengthen the veil, but since it’s his intention to tear it down, what purpose do they really serve?
  7. I hope we return to being able to use the Ability Wheel from Origins and DA2; the option to open the wheel of all those abilities you have acquired so you can actually use everything in your arsenal instead of having to pick and choose.
I Rank the Dragon Age 4 Concept Art on How Much I Want to Date Everyone -  Gayming Magazine

With all I have to say on this subject, I couldn’t share all the artwork too, so here is a link to see all the beautiful designs.

Dragon Age 4' Gamescom reveal highlights wild new landscapes and characters

Are you as excited as I am for the next installment? What are your hopes for Dragon Age 4? It’s still a ways off but hopefully there will be another book, or comic, or more hopeful news, like a release date in December (or all of the above) to tide us over. ((sob)) Want to commiserate with me? Let’s talk Dragon Age!

Writing Prompt #116

who goes there...

I like the idea of images that can be seen in a number of ways. Is this a playful image? Teasing? Or is it of a more somber nature? Menacing?

For this week’s writing prompt challenge, I offer you this. What do you see?

I look forward to seeing your creations!

Happy Writing!